Building the Dream Home Library

For the first time in my life, I have been given the opportunity to transform a room into a personal library. Instead of bookcases here, there and everywhere (arguably, not a bad thing), my many books will share a single cosy, easily browsed home.

When offered this chance, my first thought was “what have I done to deserve this?” and my second was to wonder what the perfect home library should have apart from, well, books. After some research and reminiscence, here’s the list I came up with:

Ladders on Rails

Having spent a few years working in a store in the US that has these, my love affair with library ladders has been cemented. They are practical, yes, but they are also just so, very, very charming.

libarary ladder

A Spiral Staircase

Henry Higgins had one so…why not me? It would be a perfect spot for off-the-cuff singing and elocution.


A Secret Passage

I’m not certain that Young Frankenstein was what made me obsessed with secret passages as a child, all I know is that discovering the fact that pulling up the bottom board of a cubbyhole in my room allowed me to crawl into the closet of the next room over was a significant moment. Also, the whole pull-out-the-right-book-(or candle)-and-the-bookcase-swings-open gag is a classic that deserves entry in any great library.

put the candle back

A Window Seat

I’ve always associated window seats with avid reading, probably because I grew up using bookplates that sported the image ‘Picture-Books in Winter’ by Jessie Willcox Smith from A Child’s Garden of Verses (see below).


A Leather Easy Chair

I imagine it looking something like this:

leather chair

Obviously, the burgundy smoking jacket and beard are also a must. They just go with the chair.

And a Cosy Sleeping Spot for The Dog

Because no matter how sad and bookish she tries to look, she’s definitely not allowed on the leather easy chair.

kaddy book

Liz Gillett


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